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The PEST analysis is a tool to evaluate external factors. It is often helpful to complete a PEST analysis prior to a SWOT analysis, although it may be more useful to complete a PEST analysis as part of, or after, a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis measures a business unit; a PEST analysis measures trends and changes in the market. PEST analysis can be used for marketing and business development assessment and decision-making, and the PEST template encourages proactive thinking, rather than relying on habitual or instinctive reactions.
PEST becomes more useful and relevant the larger and more complex the business or proposition, but even for a very small local businesses a PEST analysis can still throw up one or two very significant issues that might otherwise be missed.
If used properly, the PESTLE analysis can be very effective in its scope for understanding market and business position. The PESTLE analysis alongside SWOT can be used as a basis for analyzing the business and environmental factors of a project.
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